By Stephen Duell aka spuds1961

Not number one as far as sport in America but as far as card collecting goes, yes it is. Follow me for a little while and this will seem obvious. I can’t remember the last football or hockey or basketball rookie who has drawn as much attention as last year’s Strasburg cards and this year’s Harper. I know hockey has Taylor Hall and football has Tim Tebow and this year it is Cam Newton, basketball’s 10-11 class was very weak, can’t think of anybody, the 09-10 class had Griffin, Wall, Evans and Jennings, but that still didn’t push the products as much as Strasburg last year and Harper this year.

I can go into many retail stores and find 09-10 basketball, and a lot of football products from last year, hockey isn’t sold much in Mississippi so I can’t comment on that. I have a hard time finding any of last year’s Bowman products that had Harper and Strasburg, the product was mass produced but it has still dried up. Today I saw 6 2011 Bowman blasters and a bunch of rack packs at a Walmart, I can almost guarantee when I go back tomorrow they’ll be gone.

Why do you guys as collectors think this is happening? Is everybody who collects baseball afraid of missing the next Pujols, Jeter, or A-Rod big rookie card? I think mostly it might be the low risk high reward factor also, if you should get lucky and spend 5 dollars on a 20 card rack pack and pull the Harper, or 20 on a blaster, bingo box paid for and everything else is just gravy. I like the look of this year’s Bowman so most likely I’ll put the set together. Therefore I’m hoping that I’m lucky enough to hit some Harper’s along the way to foot the bill.

I still don’t understand how the hot rookies will sell for a lot more than say a vintage semistar. I’ve been collecting forever and never understood that concept of collecting. The other thing I can’t figure out for the life of me is how certain cards can book more than others. I’ll give an example and these two are basketball so I’m getting a little off track but here goes; I have an 05-06 UD SP Authentic Chris Paul rookie autopatch 4 color numbered 0016/1299,only the first 100 are autopatches it books at 400 high, I have a Kevin Durant 07-08 Topps Chrome RC white refractor numbered 49/99 and that one is only seen in sales of buy it now for 999.99 or above not autographed or anything just low numbered, very confusing to me.

Back on topic, I think in baseball most prospects will not pan out and their cards will go into the commons boxes at your local card shop or card show. I also believe if you do get that diamond in the rough the sport that will give you the most payback is baseball, look at some of Pujol’s high end rookies and you’ll see what I mean, also with prospects it could be a few years down the road till you know what you have, in other sports it’s pretty much cut and dry whether your great rookie pull will ever be worth anything or not.

The hobby box prices are already rising and who can blame the card shops for that? It’s a chance to make a quick buck off of the hot prospect and offset the prices of some of the bad releases they’ll get stuck with throughout the year. Happy prospecting to all my fellow baseball collectors whether male or female, and may a nice refracting Harper grace your breaks, have a great and prosperous collecting day!